Those who know Elizabeth Hare probably aren't at all surprised that the 14-year-old is working to make life a little easier for the less fortunate.
As a senior 4-H'er, Elizabeth has been working on her community service project, which culminates Saturday with a horse trail ride at Wild Wood Park in Appling. Proceeds from the trail ride will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
"When I first heard of this, I thought what a great project, and I knew I had to get involved to raise money to find cures for illnesses that affect these kids," said the Greenbrier High School freshman. "I know there are a lot of children with cancer and other types of diseases, and I know there are parents of these children who want to see a cure for these diseases."
The trail ride, dubbed Saddle Up for St. Jude, will begin with registration at 8 a.m. The ride, 10 miles in length, will begin at 10 a.m. There is no fee to participate, but donations are being taken, and all proceeds will go to St. Jude. Door prizes and raffle drawings, for local restaurant gift certificates, horse feed, a $50 savings bond and a Wal-Mart gift certificate, will be held.
"The St. Jude hospital survives only through public donations, many of which are raised through Saddle Up events held all over the country each year," said Elizabeth, the daughter of Michael and Sarah Hare, of Appling.
Elizabeth Hare, a freshman at Greenbrier High School, has helped organize a trail ride to benefit St. Jude's Childrens Research Hospital.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital was founded by Danny Thomas, the late entertainer. The institution opened its doors to the public in 1962 to combat catastrophic diseases in children. The non-sectarian, non-discriminatory hospital has provided medical treatment to more than 19,000 young people. All costs of treatment, beyond those reimbursed by insurance, are covered by the hospital.
That's why public support is vital to St. Jude's and why Saddle Up events like Elizabeth's are so important.
Shirley Williamson, Columbia County's 4-H agent, says Elizabeth has worked tirelessly to pull the ride off.
"I asked her why she wanted to do something for St. Jude's and not the Children's Medical Center or something here locally, and she said her heart was with St. Jude because these rides are held all over the country each year and St. Jude provides such great support," said Williamson. "She has worked so hard on this, and she has set a goal of $3,000."
Anyone with a horse is invited to participate in the trail ride, according to Williamson.
"We want anybody and everybody who has a horse to come out and ride that day," she said. "The community and recreation department are letting us have use of the trail and park for free that day, and I'm very appreciative of their support. The entire community has been very supportive of this event."
To make a pledge without attending the trail ride, contact Williamson at the Columbia County 4-H office at 868-3413.
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